The history of

Burscough FC

Burscough FC areal view

Following the Second World War the present Burscough club was founded in 1946, starting life in the Liverpool County Combination. In only their second season, 1946/47, they achieved a unique treble, winning the Lancashire Junior Cup, George Mahon Cup and the Liverpool Challenge Cup.

Two years later they again claimed the Junior Cup and also won the County Combination title for the first time. In 1952 they won the Liverpool Challenge Cup for a second time.

In 1953/54 Burscough joined the Lancashire Combination winning the Second Division Championship in their first season and scoring 155 goals in the process. 1955/56 saw arguably the club’s greatest ever achievement as they won the First Division Championship ahead of non-league giants Wigan Athletic. In 1959 they reached the First Round Proper of the F.A. Cup for the first time; going down 3-1 to Crewe Alexandra in front of A 4,200 gate at Victoria Park.

 

Burscough FC 1946/47

Another trophy winning spell commenced in 1966/67 season under manager Bobby Langton as the club completed a hat trick of Junior Cup successes against South Liverpool at Wigan. The Lancashire Combination First Division title was regained in 1969/70 season.

In 1970/71 Burscough joined the Cheshire County League, finishing runners-up to Rossendale United. The following season they won the Liverpool Non-League Senior Cup and in 1974/75 the Cheshire League Cup was lifted.

The Linnets also reached the F.A. Cup First Round Proper on three other occasions.
In 1977, a 1 -0 defeat at Blyth Spartans, in 1979, a 3-0 defeat at Sheffield United in front of 14,000 spectators and in 1980, a 2-1 defeat against Altrincham.

In 1982 the Club became founder members of the North West Counties Football League and had the distinction of becoming the Leagues first ever Champions under Bryan Griffiths.

 

In 1989/90 season Burscough suffered their first ever relegation, however, the appointment of Russ Perkins as manager in 1991 was to bring about a change in the club’s fortunes as Burscough reached the League Cup Final and gained promotion back to Division One.

 

In 1992/93 Burscough lost 2-1 to Conference bound Southport in the Liverpool Senior Cup Final at Goodison Park before 2,000 spectators. Success was achieved by winning the League Challenge Cup with a 2-1 victory over Nantwich Town.

 

In May 1995, Burscough appointed John Davison as Manager. In his first season Burscough went on to win the League Challenge Cup for the second time, beating League Champions Flixton 1-0 at Gigg Lane, Bury.

In 1996/97 Frank Parr completed 50 years with the Club and was presented with The Football Association 50 Year Long Service Award.

 

The following season after finishing runners-up in the North West Counties League the club made history by being promoted to the Unibond League. They also won the League Floodlit Trophy and reached the final of the Liverpool Senior Cup against Liverpool.

 

 

 

In 2000/01 season the Linnets won the Liverpool Senior Cup for the first ever time after beating Conference side Southport.

 

Following the resignation of John Davison the club appointed Shaun Teale as player/manager in May 2002 and the ex-Aston Villa defender went on to sensationally lead the club to its greatest ever achievement as Burscough became the smallest club to ever win the FA Trophy following a tremendous 2-1 victory over Tamworth at Villa Park on Sunday 18th May 2003 in front of a crowd of 14,296 spectators and televised live on Sky. There were incredible scenes as almost 2,000 fans welcomed the team home to Victoria Park that evening but celebrations were dampened less than six weeks later as the club found it necessary to relinquish Teale of his managerial duties. Former Liverpool, Galatasary and West Ham United midfielder Mike Marsh was appointed manager but after a poor start to the season Marsh resigned and ex-Southport defender Derek Goulding took over in October 2003.

Burscough FC Winners - FA Trophy 2003
Shaun Teale celebrating winning the FA Trophy 2003

 

An incredible end to 2003/04 season saw Burscough finish with a remarkable run of victories that saw them claw their way out of the bottom three into the play-offs for Conference North. Despite playing all their games away from home the Linnets went on to reach the play-off final where they only went down at Bradford Park Avenue following extra-time. During the summer Frank Parr stepped down after 30 years as chairman with local businessman Chris Lloyd taking over at the helm.

Season 2005/06 was another historic one for Burscough F.C. as they went on to reach the Second Round proper of the F.A. Cup for the first time in their history. In reaching that milestone they defeated League One side Gillingham 3-2 on a never to be forgotten day at Victoria Park before going out to Burton Albion. 

Derek Goulding`s tenure as manager ended in June 2006 when he was replaced by former Southport manager, Liam Watson. The 2006/07 season was Burscough F.C`s Diamond Jubilee and one of the ways the club marked the event was by playing in a predominantly white kit with a specially designed badge. The season was one of the most successful in history when the Linnets won the Unibond Northern Premier Division and the Lancashire Co-Op Trophy, formerly the Lancashire Junior Cup, for the first time in 40 years when neighbours Marine were defeated. The league success was only confirmed after a thrilling climax. On the last day of the season the Linnets won at A.F.C. Telford United in front of nearly 6,000 fans. The victory meant they overhauled the New Bucks Head side at the top of the table and won the title on goal difference by just 1 goal from Witton Albion. 

60 Years of BFC

Further success came when Unibond First Division champions Buxton were defeated 3-1 in the Peter Swailes Memorial Shield to round off a great season and confirm Burscough as Treble Winners.

 

In their first season in Conference North, Burscough finished in 8th position, but manager Liam Watson and many of the players departed during the close season. Assistant manager Joey Dunn took over as manager in July 2008, but was replaced by Andy Mutch (Former Wolves player) at the beginning of October. Burscough finished next to bottom of the league and were relegated back to the Unibond Premier with Andy Gray taking over as manager for the start of the 2009-10 campaign. 

 

The season was completed under difficult circumstances after chairman Chris Lloyd stood down and withdrew all funding. The Supporters Club accepted the raising of funds to complete the seasons fixtures, and were successful in this objective.

During the close season the ground was sold to Chequer Properties Ltd who in turn leased the ground back to the football club at a peppercorn rent, the property company also purchased Chris Lloyd’s majority shareholding, but did not wish to be involved with the day to day running of the football side of the business, and asked Frank Parr to return as chairman and form a committee to carry out these duties.

 

New Chairman Gary Wright appointed at the end of the 2010-11 season to oversee the temporary move to short lived groundshare with local neighbours Skelmersdale United before moving back to Victoria Park midway through the season.

One of Wright’s first decisions was to find a replacement for manager Chris Stammers, who resigned after a poor start to the 2011-12 season, with former manager Derek Goulding making a return to the club. Goulding started to galvanize the side during the season, but he couldn’t stop the inevitable, and despite a promising end to the season the Linnet’s were relegated from the NPL Premier division.

 

 

August 2012 would see renewed optimism for Burscough. It would see the Supporters Club get back on board and help in the rebuild of the club. Goulding would spend the summer rebuilding the team on the pitch, and a hard working Football Club committee would start to rebuilt the club off it.

 

 

Burscough FC finished the 2012-2013 season in mid table in 11th place and the following season they again finished mid table, this time in 14th position.

 

 

The club continued to play in the First Division North for the 2014-2015 season under Derek Goulding until he left for Bangor City in October 2014. Mark Beesley was named Caretaker Manager till January 2015 when he was given the role of manager full time, he brought in Liam Blakeman as his assistant. 

 

After a successful first season in charge when finishing in fifth place Burscough made the play offs losing to Spennymoor Town, Mark left the club just before the start of the 2016/17 season along with many key players and despite their best efforts the club were relegated to the Hallmark Security North West Counties League for the 2017/18 season.